Friday, 31 October 2014

The cancer epidemic, the economic politics of cancer and other better world resources

For many years researcher and author Samuel Epstein has documented the neglect of prevention as the strategy of choice in the health professions. His first book The Politics of Cancer is still essential reading but from a TorontotheBetter supporter we have recently received a review of his latest (2013) called Stop Breast Cancer Before It Starts. The relevance to social economy is that the preventive measures Epstein recommends as the only effective method of stopping the cancer epidemic lie in the area of public regulation of pollutants and personal practices rather than in the largely financially driven interventionist therapies favoured by the mainstream cancer industries. The review and book details will follow. Remember - you can purchase any social economy book from TorontotheBetter, at a discount - just send an email to; others may be cheaper, but we are likely the only non-profit online community bookstore you know. Please show your support for what we do for a better Toronto.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Mexico on Fire! - Pan-American solidarity requested for Slain Mexican students

Hi guys! I don't know what to do with my frustration and sorrow, so I decided to email you, perhaps as a form to make justice to the 50 students found dead this weekend in Guerrero. The Normal rural students were killed after being kidnapped last week while protesting against government's cuts in rural education in the context of the October 2 aniversary. Normal students are indigenous students at under-budgeted teacher training colleges, the government's rationality behind Normal Rural universities is that the poor, should teach the poor. It has been like that for many years, and of course these students are more radical that urban teacher training colleges.  

 It's not clear who decided to kill the rural students, but we know that the kidnapping was perpetuated by police in collusion with local narco. This is not the first time Mexican government kills students in Mexico (October 68 is our landmark of violence of course) and certainly it is not the first time protesters are killed in Guerrero. Lucio CabaƱas and Genaro Vasquez Rojas, the founders of pre- EPR Guerrilla in Guerrero, were also rural teachers in the 70's. However what happened this weekend is different, we are talking about 50 young students that were tortured and killed with no apparent reason. Just as the last note I copy-pasted below suggests, all Mexico has become a clandestine grave. A couple of weeks ago in Tlataya, Estado de Mexico, Mexican army killed 20 people with no reason as well. 

The current killings in Mexico makes me think that Foucault could be re-thinked to understand some contemporary violence across the world --not all societies transited to a more subtle, self-regulated, form of exercising power.  What we are witnessing in Mexico is the re-emergence of sovereign power in hands of the narco-state, and of course, this is happening with the approval of Mexican and US politicians. At the very bottom, the life of 50 indigenous students has no value to them. 

A couple of links
with thanks to TorontotheBetter correspondent Columba